This time of year, change is everywhere. Light dapples longer into the afternoons, bringing with it warmer temperatures and a heightened urge to get out and enjoy the longer days. Like everything in Alaska, spring arrives here with a kind of bang – it’s as if one day, we are hunkered down in our flannel warding off the darkness and chill and in the span of two or three days, spring fever hits. It’s contagious, and all of a sudden, people are everywhere, venturing outside simply to feel the sunshine on their faces.
Change at Coast is happening, too. This month, we say farewell to longtime Singletrack Mind columnist Janice Tower, who is at the trail’s end of her writing but will continue to check in now and then with adventures of her own. Janice has been one of the best writers with whom Coast has had the privilege of working. Always on time, and offering great ideas from winter fat biking to how to train for races, her writing is fresh and her ideas current. She also is a cycling force in the community, not only active, but instrumental with such cycling advocacy programs as Mighty Bikes and Singletrack Advocates. And hey, if you want one of the best USA Cycling-certified coaches out there, she’s also your woman. We wish Janice well as she pursues her retired-from-writing future with many more adventures and worthwhile projects.
And while change can be difficult, we are equally as excited to introduce our new Singletrack Mind columnist, Rosemary Austin, another longtime advocate of cycling right here in Anchorage. Rosemary and her husband, Jon Kunesh, are familiar faces for those of you who frequent Paramount Cycles in South Anchorage. They have been helping cycling newbies and veterans alike prepare for their sport for years.
Rosemary, too, is no stranger to the pen. She is author of “Mountain Bike Anchorage,” a guide to some of the best mountain biking destinations within a reasonable distance from the city center. She helped found the original WOMBATS – Women’s Mountain Bike and Tea Society – chapters in Anchorage, which then morphed into Dirt Divas. She also is an advocate of cycling and a strong proponent of bicycle commuting, which she addresses this month, just in time for breakup. We welcome Rosemary, and she welcomes story ideas. So let us know. We want to hear from you.
Cycling is just one of many sports waiting to burst forth this spring. Boaters are gearing up for the season ahead, and the Knik Canoers and Kayakers Club has a host of activity starting up this month to get you thinking about the summer months ahead. See our Trailmix section in Coast’s in-print pages for more.
And don’t forget skiing. Despite the mostly dry roads and nearby mountains, there is a whole lot more to Alaska than what you see from the highway. In the backcountry, some of the best spring skiing still awaits the adventure-obsessed skier in all of us. Don’t miss Joe Stock’s description of the Eklutna Traverse, a popular and relatively accessible climbing and skiing trek not far from Anchorage. The peaks hidden just out of sight of Anchorage are a grand adventure just waiting to happen, and if there is fun to be had, Joe knows. There’s never a dull moment with his outings.